Issue: 380                        
August 22, 2019 
In This Issue

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Welcome TCGIS Families
See you this evening at Back to School Night!

Back to School Night at TCGIS is open-house style from 6:30-8:00 pm, so come when it works best for your family. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
  • There is no access to campus from Como Ave (the south side of our school), so all families should approach school from Van Slyke Ave (the north side of school). 
  • Please avoid parking on Van Slyke or Como Ave; instead park on any of these streets: Lexington, Churchill, Oxford, Argyle, Chatsworth, Jessamine, W. Como, etc., and enjoy a little stroll to school in this great weather. 
  • We suggest elementary school families enter on Van Slyke Ave, and middle school families enter through the Main Entrance via the playground gate on Van Slyke. These two entrances are closest to the respective classrooms. 
  • Middle school students pick up their schedules with locker assignment at the top of the stairs in the foyer (near Art and Science classrooms). 
  • These checklists to help you remember what to pick-up, drop-off, and ask about will be distributed to families this evening. You can do these in any order, however, so if you see a long line in one area, feel free to jump ahead or back on the checklist. 
  • All info-tables are located in the front foyer and in Room 100 (on the ground floor). 
We are excited to welcome your family at TCGIS this year! 

Building Information
Let's Build a School Together!

Many of you have questions or concerns regarding a construction site at school. While we did not have as much summer as we wanted to start the project, we are starting the school year both cognizant of the challenges construction will bring and confident that our staff and children will be able to work and learn safely. The State of Minnesota, Ramsey County and the City of St. Paul have all approved our project as safe and we are confident in the assurances provided by the general contractor, RJM Construction. 

For a quick overview of our project and more detailed safety information, check out this FAQ sheet. It will also be shared with D10 and neighbors.
Construction Update

This week the main structure was successfully brought down. Veit has started separating materials and loading them on trucks. There were two places that needed some extra structural support before they could completely remove the brick wall and bottom of the chimney from the new building. The demolition phase is progressing as planned and should last the next 2-3 weeks.

Andy Nesset
TCGIS Building Manager

School Board Announcements
Meet the Board at Back to School Night

TCGIS Board members will be at Back to School Night. Stop by our table to meet  and visit with us, pick up your Volunteer Recognition Certificate if you were recognized at the June or July board meetings, and purchase a TCGIS All are Welcome Here sign or TCGIS car magnet as school spirit fundraisers. 
School Spirit: yard signs, magnets and Achtung Baby

The Board Fundraising committee will have the following three items available for sale at Back to School Night in Room 100. All proceeds benefit the TCGIS General Fund.

Together We Read:  Achtung Baby -  One Book, One TCGIS, One Community
Purchase a copy of Achtung Baby from TCGIS and read along with other TCGIS parents  before author Sara Zaske's visit to the Twin Cities this winter for a speaking engagement, hosted by TCGIS and open to the public. All book proceeds and event tickets benefit the TCGIS General Fund. Specific details about the author event to follow. 

Achtung Baby  paperback books  are available  for a $17 donation; 
yard signs for a $20 donation; and car magnets for a $10 donation. 
Payment by credit card and cash accepted. 
Update: Additional Board Position for 2nd Teacher Member

At its June meeting, the board voted to add a board position for a 2nd teacher member; applications for the one-year appointment were due August 15th. The Board is excited to have 3 outstanding candidates to consider for this position. In the coming weeks, the governance committee will conduct in-person interviews and provide a recommendation to the Board to seat the new member at the September board meeting. We look forward to broadening the Board's insights from the teacher perspective through this important appointment.
Upcoming Board and Committee Meetings

Board and committee meetings are open for anyone to attend. Please check the  online school calendar for any meeting changes. Board meetings are also viewable on YouTube.
  • Board meeting - August 28, 6:30 pm, Room 100
  • Fundraising and Development Committee - Sept. 3, 8:15am, Room 308
  • Governance Committee - Sept. 9, 3:30pm, Room 99 
  • Facilities Committee - Sept. 10, 6:00pm, Room 100
  • Finance Committee - Sept. 17, 6:30pm, Room 99
  • Executive Committee - Sept. 19, 6:30 pm, Room 100
You're invited to help the board with its work! Attend a meeting and see how you can contribute. To share thoughts, feedback and ideas in between meetings, the best way to reach the board is via email at  board@tcgis.org
School Information
Welcoming New Staff & Interns to TCGIS

We are excited to see many new faces on staff here at TCGIS this year! In addition to the arrival of 12 interns this past week, we also welcome 16 teachers, 9 education assistants (EAs), and 3 new administrative and support staff to our school community. We have also made some internal changes to roles and staffing. Read brief bios of our new staff, and learn about these changes, in this Welcome to TCGIS document. 

Until our official staff nametags are here, all staff will be wearing color-coded nametags to help everyone in our school community get to know one another. Please help us welcome our new staff and interns to our community! 

Parent Communication via Email 

We rely heavily on email to communicate important information to families accurately and efficiently. We are eager to make sure we have the correct email address for you! 

There are two main ways we email you information: 
  • Through a newsletter format like this Elternbrief and the Director's Message
  • From a school email account, like info@tcgis.org or teacher email accounts, 
    to a Google email group for each homeroom (e.g. KA Parents, 6B Parents)
The parent emails we use for both types are the email addresses we get from PowerSchool. To edit or verify this information, log into your PowerSchool account, go to the Ecollect Forms tab on the left and edit the T-Student Contacts form. Two pieces of information are required for accuracy: the email addresses  and the Mother or Father designation. The relationship type must be set, it cannot be blank.

If you have already checked the T-Student Contact form, and an email is listed for (each) parent  and the relationships are designated as "Mother" and/or "Father," then your email may simply be missing from the homeroom Google group. 

In that case, please email  info@tcgis.org  with the following information: 
  • Your first and last name
  • Your preferred email address
  • Name of your child(ren) and the name of his/her/their homeroom teacher or class (ie. middle school: 6A, 5B, etc).
  • Which type of emails you have received from us and which emails you have not
Our goal is to have these issues cleared up by mid-September. We appreciate your assistance and your patience with us and this process!
Arrival and Dismissal Procedures: Phase 1

Earlier this week we emailed families Phase 1 of this year's arrival and dismissal procedures. Given the changing landscape on campus during construction, some aspects of this procedure may change, but for now, this is the procedure:

Car Drop-off/Pick-up - All Grades on Van Slyke
There will be significantly more cars on Van Slyke this year given this change. Please look for the signs indicating where the Loading Zone begins and ends, and only allow children to exit or enter the car in this area. Please allow your family plenty of time to come and go, and be patient if things are not moving very quickly in the first weeks of school. 

Busing Procedure
For the next 3-4 weeks, buses will drop off and pick up students on Como Ave near Chatsworth (near where the annual Sportfest is held). Staff will meet students at the bus in the mornings, and accompany them to school and back to the buses in the afternoon for dismissal.  

Walking Pick-up Location
While our playground is inaccessible from Como Ave., walking pick-up will be along the sidewalk on Churchill near the corner of Van Slyke Ave. 

PikMyKid Dismissal App

Please remember to update your child's dismissal plan in the PikMyKid app. If you have problems or need your primary mode changed, please email info@tcgis.org or find the registration table at Back to School Night; Clarissa will be resolving PikMyKid account issues at that time. 

C ar tags will be handed out  at Back to School Night  by elementary teachers in the classroom and with middle school class schedules or sent home with your child on the first day of school.

New this year: The daily  cut-off time to make dismissal changes in PMK is 2:20 p.m. 
instead of 2:30 p.m. We made this change in order to better support middle school teachers and students with dismissal in the last hour of the school day. Thank you for your understanding! 
School Bus Transportation

Bus  service will begin the first day of school.  Please factor an additional 10-20 minutes into bus times during the first 3 weeks of school as drivers learn their routes and students, families, and the school settle into a routine. Bus stop times may be adjusted after the first 1-2 weeks of school.

The bus company we use, CSTMN, mailed postcards with family-specific bus information to all registered families on Monday. If you have questions about your child(ren)'s bus registration, please see Nicole Sveen at Back to School Night or email her at  nsveen@tcgis.org

7th Grade Vaccination Recods

If your child is entering 7th grade, please submit their vaccination records by the first day of school: Monday, August 26th. 

Records can be submitted via:
  • upload to PowerSchool on the E - Student Health Information form 
  • email to info@tcgis.org
  • U.S. mail to school (1031 Como Ave., St. Paul, MN 55103) ATTN: Monika Avery
  • to Front Office staff at Back to School Night
Health Office Updates for the 2019-20 School Year
If your child will need medication during the school day this coming year, please review the following information: 
  • In order to administer medication to a student during the school day, we require this Medical Authorization Form, signed by both the health care provider and the parent/guardian. 
  • All medication must be in its original package with valid expiration date and labeled with student's name.
  • At Back to School night on Thursday, Aug. 22nd, Health Office associate, Monika Avery, will be available to receive your child(ren)'s medication together with the completed authorization form.  
  • If you would like an appointment to drop off medication and the authorization form, or to plan how we can support your child during the school day, please email Monika Avery (mavery@tcgis.org).
Student Test Scores

The MCA Individual Student Reports (MCA Reports detailing spring 2019 MCA results) will be mailed to schools on or about the 28th of August. We will notify all families when the ISR Reports have arrived and the best way for you to receive them. 

Please do not request MCA scores at this time unless transferring out of TCGIS or entering high school. Questions may be directed to Mike Mullins: mmullins@tcgis.org.
Kinderclub: Paperwork Required for Participation  

The following forms must be submitted before the first day of school; children will not be signed in to Kinderclub after school if the paperwork is not turned in. Forms may be  scanned and emailed to Michaela Bromenschenkel, or printed and dropped off at the front office or at Back to School night. 
If you have only 'booked' Kinderclub in Boonli, but you have not completed the  2019-20 Registration Form, or turned in the above three forms, your child(ren) is/are not officially registered for Kinderclub and will not be signed in until these items are complete.

If you still wish to register for Kinderclub and did not fill out the registration form earlier this summer, please email Kinderclub director, Michaela Bromenschenkel as soon as possible. 

Please note: Kinderclub prices have changed for the 2019-20 school year; f or updated prices and general information on before-and-after school care, please review the updated  Kinderclub Handbook If you qualify for free or reduced lunches, please email Michaela Bromenschenkel so she can adjust the prices accordingly for your family.
2019-20 School Supply Lists Available

School supply lists are now available for 2019-2020. Click here to access the folder with supply lists by grade level; c lass/teacher assignments will be communicated to families later in August. Individual supplies can be brought by your student on the first day of school; shared classroom supplies can be brought to Back-to-School night, Aug. 22. 

After-School & Extra-curricular Activities
Soccer Registration Open: Aug. 22 - 29

TCGIS will again offer after-school sports to students in fifth through eighth grade through the MN League of Independent Sports Teams. (L.I.S.T.)  
LIST is a co-ed youth sports league in Minneapolis & Saint Paul. The mission of LIST is to promote the development of skills, teamwork and sportsmanship, to build community and foster friendships between the various schools and participants, and to encourage students to play!
Overview:  Soccer season will run Wed. September 11th - Friday, November 8th (weather permitting). Games will start September 11th for grades 5/6 and September 13th for grades 7/8.

Please read this  Soccer Registration document to find all the details about our upcoming season, including the link to register for the team. 

Seeking After-School Activity Leaders 

Our fall session for after-school activities will run from September 23rd - December 20th. If you are interested in leading an after-school activity, this link   will take you to the class offering form. Please send Clarissa Herman a hard or digital copy of the form by September 2nd: cherman@tcgis.org.    
Vienna Community Arts 

Polish your keys and tune your instruments! The Vienna Community Arts music program provides music lessons in piano, violin, viola, and guitar at TCGIS after school. Lessons begin on August 26. Learn more about us at Back to School Night in Room 100. 

Continuing music students: please call your VCA teacher to schedule lesson times.

New students: please call the VCA office (651-773-9525) or email Herbert and Nancy Engelmayer ( infoviennarts@gmail.com) to request information and availability. 

Ways to be involved and support TCGIS
2019-20 Parent Council Nominations now open
The TCGIS Parent Council seeks class representatives for the upcoming school year.  Nominations will be accepted starting today. Each grade has a Google Doc  for parents to self-nominate and write a short introduction.  Nominations will be collected until Sept. 16. 

The election will be held September 19-29 via a Google Form-Ballot. There will be one joint meeting in October with the 2018-19 represenatives and the newly elected 2019-20 representatives. 

The Parent Council is scheduled to meet on the first Monday of each month from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Parent Council members also attend other school committee meetings and attend to other tasks between meetings on an as-needed basis.

Curious about what it's like to serve on the Parent Council? Stop by their Info-Table in Room 100 at Back to School Night, or email your Parent Council Representative.  If you're unsure of who that person is or how to contact them please email 
parent-council@tcgis.org  and we will connect you with your Parent Council representative.
Volunteer as an Elternkontakt (EK)
Elternkontakte (parent contacts) are volunteers who provide an additional communication channel between the teacher / school and the parents in their homeroom/class. This is a fun volunteer position that can be done remotely in small bits of time since it primarily consists of communicating via email. 

Each homeroom tends to have 1-3 EKs who work together to support the homeroom teacher, or grade-level teachers, by coordinating activities and parent volunteers for seasonal celebrations, field trips and other classroom events. 

If you're interested in volunteering as an Elternkontakt for your child's homeroom this coming year, please sign up on this document, and Katharina Schirg will be in touch with you. Herzlichen Dank!
TCGIS Flea Market and Staff / Intern Wish List 

This month we welcome 17 new teaching staff and 12 interns to the TCGIS community!

Many of our new staff have relocated to the Twin Cities and are seeking household and other items (like cars) as they settle in. Often we have Interns who seek a bike or other sports equipment to borrow while they're here. 

Furthermore, we have heard from TCGIS families who have items they'd happily sell, lend or donate - if only they knew who needed them!

For these reasons, we've created the following two open Google docs for our community: 

TCGIS Community Flea Market - Sell, Donate, Lend, Share! 

TCGIS Staff & Intern - Fresh Start Wunschliste (Wish List)

We hope these tools help our community members connect in mutually beneficial ways! 
Do you have marketing doo-dads to donate?

Do you work for a business that has a marketing closet full of stuff that nobody wants?! We will take your stress balls, earbuds, computer mice, fancy pens and pencils, frisbees, and other fun stuff to use as student rewards for our Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program at TCGIS! We also use $5 Target gift cards for our middle school students. Staff choose from $10 Target/Amazon/Caribou gift cards or a prime parking spot in our lot. [Food is never used as a reward per TCGIS school policy.]

You can drop off these items at the PBIS table during our Family Back to School Night on August 22. If you have any questions, please contact Michael White, PBIS Coach.  
PTO Updates
Look for PTO at Back to School Night!

Stop by our info-table in Room 100 and: 
  • Grab a PTO important dates schedule
  • Check out some new merchandise for sale
  • Meet your PTO exec team 
See you there!
Join us for the PTO Kick-off Meeting: Thu., Sept. 5
  • We'll meet at TCGIS in Room 100
  • Mingle & enjoy a Meal
  • Families welcome, Childcare provided 
  • Meal catered by Cosetta's
  • RSVP by Tuesday September 3rd
2nd Annual Twin Cities Oktoberfest Fun Run

Bring your lederhosen and dirndls and join us on Saturday, September 21st, for this fun and family-friendly event that's open to the public. 

The Fun Run will start at the Como Midway Pavilion and the route winds around Como Lake. Medals will be given out to the top finishers in each age category and steins will be given for best-dressed. T-shirts are included with the race registration. 

After the race, head over to Half Time Rec to celebrate Oktoberfest 2019. A beer or non-alcoholic drink ticket is included with race entry! Proceeds benefit the Twin Cities German Immersion School. Tickets are now on sale! Follow updates here.

News from the GAI    
Classes at the GAI for Adults, Teens and Children

REGISTRATION NOW OPEN FOR FALL SESSIONWe offer classes for beginners, intermediate and advanced students. Both daytime and evening options are available.
Samstagsschule for kids & teens  
Samstagsschule (Saturday School) is a fun way for young kids through pre-teens to begin or continue learning German.
NOW OFFERING ADVANCED CLASSES FOR TCGIS ALUMNI: German for Teens c lasses are scheduled Saturday morning / afternoon beginning in September. 
Save the Date: St. Paul Oktoberfest

Mark your calendars for a fun weekend at the GAI's St. Paul Oktoberfest

Schmidt Brewery-Saint Paul, Minnesota
September 13-14, 2019
Friday, 4 PM-10 PM | Saturday, 10 AM-10 PM